How to Write a 5-Paragraph Essay: A Step-by-Step Route to a Successful Paper

Writing essays is an inescapable part of college life. Essays can pop up as an assignment or as a prompt in a standardized test. Wherever they pop up, you should not be afraid when you see them because writing an essay is not as hard as many people make it out to be. Once you know what is expected of you and how to structure the essay, the process becomes much easier and you can tackle the assignment or prompt with more confidence in your writing abilities.

How to Write 5-Paragraph Essay

How to Write a 5-Paragraph Essay

A 5-paragraph essay is commonly found in many standardized tests (if not all of them) at both the high school and college level. Below, we are going to discuss the format you should memorize so you can go straight into writing the essay without spending too much time trying to figure that part out (you will usually have the limited time to complete that section if you are writing a standardized test). But if it is an assignment, you will have more time and can even hire an affordable essay writing service so you can see a perfect example of a 5-paragraph essay.

Knowing this format will make you quick and efficient, as you will become more experienced in writing 5-paragraph essays. You will also learn what to write in each section in detail because knowing the structure is only a part of the solution. As with any essay, it will consist of an introduction, body, and conclusion.


Paragraph 1

The first paragraph is where you lay all the groundwork to convince your reader to keep on reading. Here, you will explain the general outline and set the tone of the entire essay. Once the reader goes through the introduction, they should be able to tell what your essay is going to be about and find it interesting. So make sure that it is attention-grabbing and clear without getting into too much detail. So how do you go about writing your introductory paragraph?

Here are a few pointers:

  • The introduction should not be lengthy; about 3-5 sentences will do.
  • Make sure the first sentence tells the reader what the essay is about.
  • Develop your thesis statement here, telling the reader what you want to say about the main topic.
  • Since you have three paragraphs in the body, list three arguments that will support your thesis.
  • You must include a hook at the end of the paragraph that will transition the reader from the introduction to the body.

Once you have all these points down, you will have a good introductory paragraph that will make the reader want to continue reading your essay. If you want to see a perfect example of an introductory paragraph, you can contact an affordable custom writing service and tell them, “Write my essay for cheap.” These services will show you how to start an argumentative essay, descriptive essay or even an analytical essay.


Paragraph 2

This is the beginning of the body. Since you have three paragraphs to write in this section, the first paragraph of the body, which is the second paragraph of the essay, should be used to present your strongest argument along with your strongest supporting details, such as quotes, figures, charts, tables, and graphs. It will pick up right after the closing hook of the introduction.

Here are a few more pointers to make sure it is strong:

  • The topic should be written in the first sentence;
  • Make sure the topic is relevant to the thesis statement;
  • The length of the paragraph should be 5-7 sentences long;
  • You must include a hook that transitions the reader to the third paragraph.

Paragraph 3

This paragraph picks up right after the closing hook of the second paragraph. This is where you will present your second strongest argument along with all your second strongest supporting details. To make this paragraph strong, you must include all the points that make the second paragraph strong.

Also, pay attention to the following additional points if you want it to be strong:

  1. It should support the argument presented in the second paragraph (make it stronger), which is your strongest argument;
  2. Make sure you do not say anything contradictory that can undermine your strongest argument;
  3. The last sentence should include a transitional hook that leads the reader to the fourth paragraph.

Paragraph 4

In this paragraph that continues from the hook in the third paragraph, you must present your weakest argument to the reader. You will also present your weakest supporting details here as well. You should also use the previous pointers to make this paragraph strong.

Also, take note of the following pointers:

  1. It should support both the first and second strongest argument;
  2. Avoid saying anything that will contradict the first and second strongest arguments;
  3. The transitional hook in the last sentence should signal to the reader that this is the final argument;
  4. The hook should transition the reader into the final paragraph which is the conclusion.


Paragraph 5

This is the concluding paragraph, which makes it a great place to consolidate all your arguments. The conclusion is your final chance to convince the reader that you have made a compelling case for the topic you have been handed or chosen.

Here are few pointers to make your conclusion strong:

  1. Make it brief; about 3-5 sentences.
  2. Avoid introducing the reader to new information.
  3. Restate the thesis statement.
  4. Summarize your three main arguments in the second, third, and fourth paragraphs (if your arguments are pretty much the same, you can put them all in one sentence).
  5. Include a concluding hook that will end your essay on a high note in the last sentence, preferably something surprising in the form of a rhetorical question.

As you can see, writing a 5-paragraph essay is nothing to stress about. Once you know the structure (introduction, body, and conclusion) and what to write in each section, you are on your way to writing a great essay with ease. With the steps and tips outlined above, your days of fearing a 5-paragraph essay should be over.

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Angelina Bennett

Angelina Bennett is a college adventurer, shopaholic and dreamer. She has, perhaps, the widest circle of offline friends, but despises aggressive online presence. “Be true” is her motto. She explains her life philosophy in her personal blog at – a website for international students.

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